In our mid-week Christmas Eve service the Berry family lit the Christ candle and we celebrated the birthday of The Eternal One. Sunday morning we reconvened and our hearts warmed to see the Cripes. We visited, prayed, and sang hymns and praises together. Our offertory featured the intertwined harmony of Vanessa and Peggy on the poignant Mary Did you Know?
Pastor delved into the story of Mary, the last of the women mentioned in Christ’s genealogy in Mathew 1. The virgin mother is a great story, but is also literal history. While some ascribe Mary superhuman qualities, she’s actually a very human young girl who’s given a transcendent assignment. God employs paradoxical topography, empowering the unempowered. In our weakness His glory is revealed. With Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba, Mary is:
- Extremely powerless in her situation
- Yielding to God
- Used well for God’s glory
We can absorb much from the reaction Mary (and by contrast Zechariah) has to the Gabriel’s news. Mary displays natural curiosity, yet knowledge that nothing is impossible for God. God’s perspective and heart flow through Mary’s joyful praise and submission to God. This parallels Jesus yielding to the Father’s will on the Mount of Olives.
We at times feel our situations are overwhelmingly complicated. How do they compare to the situation that this very young girl from the backwater town of Nazareth finds herself in? We possess the Holy Spirit and complete Bible; yet what reaction would our faith, heart, and perspective produce…if God called us to a ministry where people inherently judged and shamed us? Would we say “All I have is Yours Lord”…and joyfully trust in our sovereign and wise Lord?
Let us not be found guilty of thinking God is ignoring us unless He’s granted what we’ve told Him to give us. He truly hears us, remains involved, and always does exactly what He’s supposed to do. Also let us not be guilty of relinquishing God’s Word to a dusty heirloom instead of the powerful fire-carved sword that it is.
Are we enmeshed in the grand plans of this world, or are we living out God’s priorities and truths:
- Nobody is unimportant to God
- He’s sovereignly prearranged Grace for us (even before we rejected and ignored Him)
- We need His redemption
- We must confess (things not seen as broken…don’t get fixed)
- His life-changing power calls for our repentance
- God desires to be in our lives, changing us, and using us
- God is truly trustworthy
- All we have is already God’s, but He grants us the opportunity to yield it back to Him
- In humility on our knees God may use us way beyond our abilities
Pastor encouraged us to find tangible ways to be in the Word daily, improving our discipline in drinking deeper of God, and finding His leading in serving. Help us Father to humble ourselves in Your sight and not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds. Amen